To ensure that nothing went unchecked, she grabbed a pen and circled the moles that looked suspicious to her.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 1, 2022. It has since been updated.
Brinlee Miles is nothing if not thorough. The 20-year-old from Utah didn't want to leave anything to chance when she sent her husband, Ryan Miles, to a dermatologist. Especially given his family history with skin cancer, Brinlee was concerned about a few growing moles on Ryan's back and chest and wanted to make sure that the doctor didn’t miss anything. To ensure that nothing went unchecked, she grabbed a pen and circled the moles that looked suspicious to her so that the dermatologist would take a closer look at them. To her surprise, the doctor also went out of their way to address her concerns in kind.
"This is how I sent my husband to the dermatologist," Miles wrote in a now-viral TikTok video of her pen-marked husband, who showed off his circled moles for the camera. The video—which has been viewed over 11.5 million times—then shows Ryan returning from the appointment, proudly holding a piece of paper, before taking his shirt off to display notes his doctor left by each highlighted mole. "And this is how she sent him back," the text overlay reads as Miles shows how the dermatologist marked the four moles which were "good" and the two that were taken for testing and biopsy.
Speaking to BuzzFeed about Ryan's moles, Miles said, "We had been watching some spots on him previously, so I had just circled the ones we were worried about to see if the doctor was concerned about those spots as well... especially the ones on his back that he couldn’t see very well to point out." The test results showed that "the [mole] on his chest contained cancer cells in the early stages and needs to be removed soon," she revealed. "The one they took from his back looks good, but they still wanted to keep an eye on it to make sure nothing changes."
Miles added that their dermatologist mentioned seeing circled moles or notes left by wives often, a revelation corroborated by many medical professionals in the comment section of the video. "I work in Derm and you’d be surprised how many women send their husbands covered in circles," wrote one TikTok user. "I've been in derm for 15+ years & I've seen this many times! (it's never the wife with circles, though, lol)," commented another named Angela. "As a Derm nurse, we Love when this happens!! Good job looking out," wrote Janae Walker.
"I work in dermatology and this happens at least twice a week - husband comes in with circles saying his wife is the only reason he’s there," commented Jozzzz while another TikTok user named Sam wrote: "As someone covered in moles everywhere, this is legit a good idea, if I've got a weird one on my back I likely won't know lol." While there were some who didn't appreciate the humor, love or concern behind the circled moles, TikTok user Shianne Jennings explained why this is actually a recommended practice. "As someone who works for a dermatologist, we always recommend this! We have so many male patients that say [I don't know] my wife saw something back there," they commented. One comment, however, stood above all the rest as it called attention to the real message that should be taken from this post. "As a person who lost my husband to melanoma, THANK YOU for getting skin checks!!!" the comment reads.